WASHINGTON – President Biden on Tuesday said the United States would punish Russia for a “worst war of choice” by banning oil, gas and coal imports from Ukraine, but warned Americans that the decision would inevitably lead to higher energy prices. And at the gas pump.
“I said from the beginning that I would equate myself with the American people,” he said. Biden said. “When I first talked about it, I said it’s costly to protect freedom It costs us tooIn the United States. “
White House officials said on Tuesday that the president had signed an executive order banning anyone in the United States from importing “Russian crude oil and some petroleum products, liquefied natural gas and coal.” Officials said it would bar New US investment in Russia’s energy sector directly or in foreign companies investing in energy production in Russia.
Mr. Biden’s decision effectively halts the relatively small flow of oil into the United States, which receives less than 10 percent of its energy resources from Russia. Republicans and Democrats in Congress They have been urging the president to take action to ensure that Putin does not make a profit from US oil purchases.
Britain joined forces with the United States on Tuesday. Mr. In a statement, Biden said Britain would gradually suspend oil imports by the end of this year to boost economic isolation from Russian President Vladimir Putin. V. Putin.
The British decision will not affect Russia’s gas supply and will give oil importers several months to develop alternative plans to avoid any disruption.
Unlike many Western European countries, Britain is not a major importer of Russian energy. However, according to government figures, Russia will account for 8.3 percent of Britain’s crude imports by 2020, and prices are already rising at gas stations, while other energy costs for industrial and domestic heating have risen there.
In a brief comment before heading to Texas for an event about veterans, Mr. Biden promised to do what he could to mitigate the impact of the decision on gas prices, but did not say whether the United States would like to import oil from other countries. There are already sanctions, such as in Venezuela or Iran.
He also warned oil companies in the United States not to take advantage of this decision by arbitrarily raising prices.
“Russia’s aggression is losing all of us,” he said. “This is not the time for profit or price hikes.”
Amid concerns over whether the already rapid rise in petrol prices, a powerful political issue for Americans in an important election year, could accelerate. Officials said Biden had been fighting for days over whether to take action.
He said some European countries, including Germany and France, relied heavily on Russia’s power and would largely not follow suit. Biden agreed in announcing his decision.
“An integrated response to Putin’s aggression is my main focus on the unity of NATO and all the European Union and our allies as a whole,” he said. Biden said. “We are moving forward with this barrier, realizing that many of our European allies and partners are not in a position to join us.”
Already, concerns about disruptions to oil flows around the world have pushed up global crude oil prices. Brent crude hit $ 130 a barrel on Tuesday morning. It rose 26 percent last week to $ 139 a barrel.
In his comments, Mr. Biden sought to blunt the Republicans’ attacks, accusing the administration of already following environmental policies – such as preventing drilling in some public lands – which made the situation worse. Some Republicans have urged the president to allow more drilling as a way to divert oil from Russia.
He said oil companies in the United States already had permission to drill in areas they had never hit. Biden said.
“They now have 9,000 permits to drill,” he said. “They can drill now, yesterday, last week, last year. They are already drilling the 9,000 shores allowed. So let me be clear – let me be clear. They are not being used for production now. It’s their decision. These are the facts.”
Many Republicans and Democrats in Congress have called for a ban on Russian power. But the White House is preparing for criticism from Republicans as gas and other energy prices rise in the coming weeks.
“This crisis is a stark reminder: to protect our economy in the long run, we must become energy free,” he said: “It must motivate us to accelerate the transition to clean energy.”
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